4Minute (Korean: 포미닛) is a five-member South Korean girl group formed in 2009 by Cube Entertainment with music singles and albums released primarily in South Korea and Japan. The members of the group are Nam Ji-hyun, Heo Ga-yoon, Jeon Ji-yoon, Kim Hyun-a, and Kwon So-hyun. The group debuted in June 2009 with its first single, "Hot Issue", and in December 2010, it released its first Japanese album, Diamond. In 2011, the group released its first Korean full length album, 4Minutes Left.
The group received the Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards, and the Kpop New Artist Award at the 2010 Billboard Japan Music Awards.
2009: Debut, For Muzik:
On May 14, Cube Entertainment announced the formation of a five-member girl group, called 4Minute, and revealed that its first member would be former Wonder Girls member Kim Hyun-a. Prior to the official announcement, the group was unofficially called the "Hyuna group". The next member, Nam Ji-hyun, was revealed on May 22. The group's official website was launched on June 11 with a silhouette teaser video. and the remaining members were announced the following day.
4Minute released its first single, "Hot Issue", on June 15, and debuted on June 18. On June 21, the group's van was raided by fans, who stole clothing and other items. Cube Entertainment said, "It was very unfortunate that such an ordeal occurred."
On August 20, the group released its first mini-album called For Muzik along with its second single, "Muzik". The song won an Inkigayo Mutizen award.
On August 27, South Korean radio and television network KBS banned the playing of "Won't Give You (안줄래)" for what they considered to be overly sexual lyrical content. The lyrics in question, in the style of a first-person narrative, express an unwillingness on the part of the subject to "give" herself or her heart to her partner. Cube Entertainment responded to the ban by stating that the song was intended to be "about the pure feelings of a girl to a guy" and that they were very disappointed by the decision. On October 15, the single "What a Girl Wants" was released.
On December 2, 4Minute, with Korean singers Mario and Amen, released the Christmas song "Jingle Jingle". The group recorded a remix with American artist Amerie for her song "Heard 'em All" which was part of the Asian version of her fourth album. The song featured Korean rapper Jun Hyung of label mate Beast.
2010: Hit Your Heart, Diamond:
On January 5, 2010, it was announced that the Universal Music Group would be assisting 4Minute with an international launch of its album. The group toured Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong On May 5, the group debuted "Muzik" as a Japanese single, and on May 8, held its first concert in Japan. The single reached number 21 on the Oricon weekly singles chart.
On May 19, 4Minute released a mini-album entitled Hit Your Heart, and its title track "HuH". The single featured fellow label mates Beast, who rapped during song "Who's Next?." "HuH" peaked at number 3 on the Gaon Singles Chart. On May 24, South Korean FM station "Voice of Freedom" included the "Huh" song in its propaganda broadcasts to North Korea
On July 5, the group released the music video for "I My Me Mine", which was the second single from Hit Your Heart. On July 19, the song "Superstar" was digitally released for the Korean TV show Superstar K2. The group performed for Celebration at Marina, one of the line-up activities for the Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010 On July 30, the Japanese version of "I My Me Mine" was released,
On October 12, the third Japanese single and first double single, titled "First/Dreams Come True" was released on YouTube. On October 27, the song was released. In December, 4Minute held Japanese concerts 4Minute Energy Live Volume 2: Diamond in Tokyo and Osaka. Its Japanese album Diamond was released on December 15 and debuted at the number 18 on the Oricon chart.
2011: 4Minutes Left:
On January 13, the group performed at the DiGi Live K-Pop Party 2011 in Malaysia at Stadium Negara with Beast and G.NA. On January 20, the group received a Bonsang Award at the 20th Seoul Music Awards. In February 2011, the group received the Kpop New Artist Award for 2010 at the Billboard Japan Music Awards. On February 23, the group modeled for bridal designer Yumi Katsura at her 2011 Paris Grand Collection Tokyo Fashion Show held in Tokyo's Ryōgoku Kokugikan, where the group performed songs "Muzik" and "Why". On March 12, the group performed at the 50th Anniversary Music Wave Concert in Thailand.
Its fourth Japanese single, "Why" was released as the theme song to the TV Asahi drama, Akutō: Jūhanzai Sōsahan. The music video was released in February, followed by a single release in March 9. "Heart to Heart" was released as a music video on March 29, and starred CN Blue's Jungshin.
On March 29, the digital-only mini-album Heart to Heart was released. On April 5, 4Minute released the Korean album, 4Minutes Left. The music video for "Mirror Mirror" was released on the same day. The album includes "Mirror Mirror", and songs from Heart to Heart and Diamond. Because of the song's provocative spread leg choreography; music producers demanded that "Mirror Mirror" be changed or the group could not perform the song on their shows. As a response, 4Minute changed the song's choreography, starting with the performance on M! Countdown on April 14. The song reached number two on the Gaon Chart.
4Minute collaborated with Japanese singer Thelma Aoyama for her single, "Without U", which has both Japanese and English versions. Hyuna was featured in SS501's Heo Young-saeng's title track from his first solo mini album, Let It Go. On July 5, Hyun-a released a solo mini album, Bubble Pop! and the music video for the title track, Bubble Pop. Although the performances for Bubble Pop the song was concluded prematurely due to Korea Communications Commission review committee, the music video was a viral hit, gaining 10 million views on YouTube as of August 2011. On August 3, the music video Freestyle was released as an endorsement track for the video game company JCE
On August 15, 4Minute posted the music video for the Japanese version "Heart to Heart". On September 7, the group released "Heart to Heart" as its fifth Japanese single, which ranked 15 on Oricon Daily Singles chart. The group also released its first DVD, Emerald of 4 Minute, which ranked second on the Oricon Daily DVD Chart. In October, the TV Tokyo drama "Welcome to the El-Palacio" featured 4Minute's newest song, "Ready Go", as its opener. On December 6, "Ready Go" was later released as the sixth Japanese single.
2012: Volume Up:
On April 9, 4Minute released the mini-album Volume Up, along with its title track Volume Up and music video.Volume Up (album) reached number one on the Gaon Weekly Album Chart,. The title single Volume Up reached two on the Gaon Singles and number one on M! Countdown. On August 22, 4Minute released its seventh Japanese single "Love Tension", which featured a Japanese version of "Volume Up". Hyun-a became famous for her role in the "Gangnam Style" music video. On October 13, 4Minute performed at KCON 2012 at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, California. On December 4, 4Minute released the song "Welcome to The School" for the KBS TV series School 2013.
2013: Name Is 4minute:
From January 26 to February 21, 4Minute participated in the 2013 United Cube Concert tour at venues in China, Korea and Japan.
On April 26, 4Minute released the fourth mini-album Name is 4Minute and the single "What's Your Name?", which was produced by Brave Brothers. Promotion for the single and album involved a set of teaser images where the members were decorated in fantasy-inspired sets and neon tones. In the fourth week of May, the song reached number one on the Gaon Single Chart, making it the group's first chart topper for Gaon. On the June 1 edition, the single reached number one on the Billboard K-pop Hot 100.
On June 28, 4Minute released the summer single "Is It Poppin'?", also written and produced by Brave Brothers. In an interview with Newsen, a Cube Entertainment spokesperson said that the song was "neither a sexy or charismatic concept, but a cute concept - a hip hop dance song that goes well with the summer feel." Its Korean title "물 좋아?" (romanized: Mul Joha?, lit. "How's the Water?"), is a slang phrase that men use to ask if the girls in a club are hot. Allkpop describes the song as a hip hop dance track about a girl who's upset with her boyfriend who loves to party. The song topped five local charts including MWave.
In September, 4Minute finished its contract with Universal Music Japan, and shut down the group's Japanese official website as well as its fanclub site, 4Nia Japan.
2014-present: 4Minute World:
On January 20, 2014, Brave Brothers released the single "Only Gained Weight" which featured 4Minute members Hyuna, Gayoon and Sohyun; the song reached number five on the Melon chart and Gaon. On March 7, Cube announced that the group's fifth mini-album 4Minute World would be released on March 17. Its lead single was promoted with timestamped daily photos of the girls in various activities, and its music video was released on March 16 under the title "오늘 뭐해 (Whatcha Doin' Today)".
Nam Ji Hyun
(1990-01-09) January 9, 1990 (age 24)
Heo Ga Yoon
(1990-05-18) May 18, 1990 (age 23)
Jeon Ji Yoon
(1990-10-15) October 15, 1990 (age 23)
Kim Hyun Ah
(1992-06-06) June 6, 1992 (age 21)
Kwon So Hyun
(1994-08-30) August 30, 1994 (age 19)
Plans for the sub-unit 2YOON (composing of Gayoon and Jiyoon) were announced in late 2012. On January 17, 2013, 2YOON released the album, Harvest Moon, along with the music video for its lead single, "24/7". 2YOON held their debut stage on January 17 at M! Countdown.